Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters Sayed’s death “sets ISIS back a month, it’s about who it is and what kind of people are below them.”
Sayed is the third Islamic State leader in Afghanistan killed in the past year, Gen. John Nicholson, Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan said in a statement. Hafiz Sayed Khan was killed in July 2016 and Abdul Hasib died during a U.S.-Afghan commando raid in April.
“This operation is another success in our campaign to defeat ISIS-K in Afghanistan in 2017,” Nicholson said.
In early March, Afghan and U.S. forces began a counter-Islamic State offensive to drive fighters from Nangarhar province, which borders Kunar to the south.
U.S. special operations forces have directly conducted raids and strikes in the country’s eastern province against the Islamic State in Afghanistan.
The White House has authorized Mattis to send nearly 4,000 troops to Afghanistan as the Trump administration determines its broader strategy. Mattis told reporters he expects the determination is nearly finished.